Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Saving Silver Wire #2 - The Ear Wire

This blog records my process of creating art jewelry, with adventures, examples, and techniques! Click on the images to enlarge.

Now that silver has gotten so expensive, we want to save as much silver wire as possible, don't we? I've developed a few techniques to save my wire – I often work right off the roll of wire. This way I don't waste ANY wire at all and there are no odd lengths of wire to throw away. Here's how I do it on a recent earring project that involves a pine cone charm, a bead unit and a handmade ear wire.

There are three parts to this project. Last post I did Part 1 (The Bead Unit). Here's Part 2 (The Ear Wire). Come back for Part 3 (Putting it Together). I'm using 20 guage round sterling silver wire.

Yes, folks, I use a jig for this. I know some of you think only amateurs use a jig, but I use one whenever it is convenient. Actually, this is the only thing I use the jig for, because it makes all my earring wires come out the same. And it's dead easy.

First, I hold the wire coil in my left hand and flush cut the very end.

Then I grab the very end of the wire with my round nose pliers one-third of the way up.

I roll around to make a loop.

Here's the loop.

I fit that loop right on the small peg of the jig.

I wrap that wire right around the fat peg as you can see here.

I pass the wire between the fat peg and the other small peg and pull a tad to curve the end.

I then flush cut the end of this wire.

I repeat these last couple of steps to make a second earring wire, right over the first one. This way they turn out the same size.

I flush cut the second end so it is the same as the first.

Voila a matching set of earring wires!

You can pinch the shape in a bit if you want.

Don't forget to file the ends a tad for comfort.

My last step is to put each wire on the bench block and tap lightly with my ball peen hammer to harden the wire a bit.

Here they are, nice, huh?


Designs by Jenean said...

nice tutorial. I bought a wigjig some time ago and haven't used it yet. I've been a little distracted with other things. I will try something with it soon. I just have to find it now.

Fish On The Wall said...

Wow- you make it look so easy! And how you were able to photograph yourself doing these steps is great! Thanks for sharing!!!